Over the years, we’ve asked the question, “What would Montana look like without groups like the Montana Family Foundation? What would we look like from a political perspective or a policy perspective?”
In a recent Lee newspaper article, one of our opponents described us as having “too much political power and exerting too much influence in the legislature,” to which we respond, “That’s our job. It’s why we exist, to affect public policy in a positive way from a Judeo-Christian perspective.”
This week we celebrated a victory that reminds us why we’re here and why we have to be in this for the long haul. Back in 2011, a Livingston couple filed Montana’s first lawsuit claiming a brand-new concept that can best be described as “wrongful birth,” the idea that someone is liable for the birth of a child that should never have been born. In this case, the couple’s child was born with cystic fibrosis. The couple claimed that genetic testing should have shown that the child would be born with the disease, and had they known, then the mother would have sought an abortion.
This case is incredibly sad on so many levels, but the one that concerned us most was the threat that the concept of wrongful birth could gain traction. Our team went to work, and in 2013, drafted legislation that prohibited lawsuits for wrongful birth or wrongful life. On April 26th, 2013, House Bill 310 became law, and Montana joined at least 12 other states that have the same law. Meanwhile, similar cases were introduced in Washington state and Oregon. Last year, a Bozeman jury rejected the Livingston couple’s claim, and last week the Montana Supreme Court rejected their appeal.
I say “their” appeal, but in another sad turn of events, the father was dismissed from the lawsuit early on for lack of standing. Even though we completely disagree with the premise of the case, it seems bizarre that a judge would say that a father in an intact marriage has no standing when it comes to a lawsuit involving his child. As we said, this case is sad on so many levels. The Supreme Court decision brings to a close a case that began six years ago, and we can truly say that Montana dodged a bullet. The child in this case in now in school and in gymnastics, and the life expectancy for people suffering from cystic fibrosis is now about 40 years.
The essence of this case is the fact that every single life is valuable; every single life has worth; and who are we to say different? When society values all life, we lift each other up and spur each other on to achieve whatever we’re able to, given our individual intellect, talents and abilities.
But lest we forget, it doesn’t end there. The Bible says that we’re created in the image of God, and simply by existing, we have value. When we, as a society, begin pointing out individuals who should never have been born, we begin to look more like Nazi Germany than America. This is a journey that doesn’t end well, and it’s a journey that we should never begin.
Thank you and God bless you all for your hard work indeed keeping the evils of a Pandora’s box from being unleashed!
Can you imagine the burden that little girl will carry all her life? That her parents would have killed her just because she has an abnormality? How sickening! She should have been removed from this “home” as soon as this lawsuit was filed, and placed with a loving couple who valued her worth!
I agree Patricia,
You have to wonder who exactly filed the lawsuit in the first place, mom or dad or both equally. Knowing the “outcome” of the parenting of this child would be interesting. If they were so “discussed” by the thought that they would have to “work hard” at raising this baby, all they had to do was place it in the hands of the hospital, fire dept, police dept. and relinquish all rights. But no, I think they were hoping for a large $$$$ settlement that never happened. Just my thoughts, pam
Praise God for your good work by His power and glory!
This article absolutely broke my heart.
God bless you! Keep fighting the good fight.
Thank you for all your hard work protecting our God-given values. Hopefully through your organization and others like yours, the brakes will be put on the slippery slope this Country is on. When human like is devalued from conception to old age, where does it end? Every time we walk away from God’s truth and His ways, life is not good.
God bless all of you,
Yes, praise the Lord for the work He is doing through you and the Montana Family Foundation! I too agree that the parents’ mental status should have been investigated as an immediate concern for the safety of this beautiful child as soon as the suit was filed. I pray he/she will know that the Lord has great plans for him/her and that he/she will come to know Him as Savior very early on. This case reminds me of what the science-fiction-based-on-possible-real-life series Fatherless is about.